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Obama’s actions promise much-desired change

Tomorrow, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States. However, the change promised throughout his campaign wasn’t something that waited until the inauguration. As early as Nov. 5, his transition team was announced and immediately began work.

In the past two months we have seen nearly all of the key Obama administration designates announced, many controversial and surprising. Change is indeed occurring, but it is the relevance of these new appointments in comparison to officials of past administrations that merits a significant understanding and respect.

A number of the choices have been noteworthy, including selection of alternative-energy advocate and Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy and intelligence community outsider Leon Panetta as CIA head. By bringing in Chu, an academic, and Panetta to the Obama administration, the American people are seeing that change is indeed a tangible concept that Obama is bringing to the Oval Office. These people, though they may lack direct experience, will bring fresh opinions and (hopefully) the eagerly awaited change to Obama’s administration.

Possibly his most discussed designee has been Obama’s pick for Surgeon General, Sanjay Gupta, known widely as CNN’s chief health corespondent. Several forward-looking positions have also been created, such as Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Chief Performance Officer, and Federal Chief Technology Officer.

With the creation of these new positions, Obama shows that as times are changing, so are the priorities of the presidency. Obama is not shying away from this change, but rather embracing it — another example of the multi-faceted change Obama has promised us.

This last position, Federal Chief Technology Officer, is of particular importance as we see the reach of technology broadening with the Obama administration. Obama has already brought many web-community changes to the “Office of the President-elect,” as evidenced by his website and his weekly videos, which can be watched on YouTube. Even early reports that Obama would be asked to give up his Blackberry have now been directly contradicted by Obama, who said last week that he would be able to hold onto it. We have also now seen the first President to have his official portrait taken with a digital camera.

So even as discussions to shut down Guantanamo Bay continue and the legislation for a new financial relief plan is still in the works, Barack Obama and his transition team have hit the ground running. Obama stated that we needed change and he was going to bring it. If his actions during his time as the President-elect are any indication of what we are likely to see for the next four years, we will have change in spades, possibly more than we ever hoped and dreamed, and possibly more than we want.